Species face extinction as London gets £50m to clean up carbon: GWM news brief

Written by Lori Campbell on 17th Feb 2020

A third of all plant and animal species on Earth face extinction in just 50 years due to man-made climate change, warns a new report, as London gets £50 million to help it become carbon neutral by 2030. Meanwhile, EDF Energy buys a majority stake in electric car charging firm Pod Point for £100 million, the UK’s first subsidy-free community solar farm launches, and US-based Delta Air Lines commits $1 billion to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

 

One third of plant and animal species extinct in 50 years

One third of all plant and animal species on our planet face extinction in just 50 years due to man-made climate change, says a new report.

The damning new study of humanity’s impact on the world’s ecosystems examined recent extinctions due to climate change and projections for the future as temperatures continue to warm.

It is the latest research to paint a bleak picture of future biodiversity on Earth, as other scientists have warned our species is responsible for bringing about a sixth mass extinction event.

The research team, from the University of Arizona, used data from 538 species at 581 sites around the globe and focused on species which had been studied at the same place at least 10 years apart.

It comes as temperatures in the Antarctic broke the 20C barrier for the first time last week, reinforcing concerns that melting ice could raise global sea levels by dozens of metres.

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£50m to reduce emissions in London

London’s mayor Sadiq Khan is to spend £50 million on a ‘Green New Deal’ for London as part of a pledge to make the UK capital carbon neutral by 2030.

The mayor, who faces an election in May, said the money highlights his commitment to tackling the climate crisis and improving London’s high levels of air pollution.

The new fund, which officials said comes from higher council tax and business rates, has not yet been allocated to specific programmes. Proposals being considered include making homes energy efficient, creating new green spaces and speeding up the installation of solar panels in the capital.


Find out how you can help make the world a better place in our Good Guide to Impact Investing


EDF buys electric car charging firm Pod Point in £100m deal

EDF Energy has bought a majority stake in electric vehicle charging point maker Pod Point in a £100 million deal.

Legal & General Capital is to take a further 23 per cent stake in Pod Point.

It comes after months of talks between the start-up and the French state-backed energy giant. The deal will give EDF access to the growing market for renewably-powered vehicles. It will now control around 1,700 public charging points to now coincide with its existing electric vehicle tariffs.

Pod Point chief executive Erik Fairbairn said: “Our shareholders believed in our vision that travel shouldn’t exacerbate carbon emissions and I’m delighted we can repay them with a return on their investment.”


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UK’s first subsidy-free community solar farm connects to grid

The UK’s first subsidy-free community solar farm has been connected to the grid in Devon.

It is set to provide 7.3MW of clean power while driving investment returns for local residents, said developers.

Led by Community Owned Renewable Energy Partners (CORE) alongside Yealm Community Energy (YCE), the Creacombe Community Solar Farm began construction last year after five years in development.

Around 4.4MW of the solar farm’s capacity – which was eligible for the last remaining community feed-in-tariff subsidies on offer in the UK – was commissioned in December. The remaining subsidy-free 2.9MW was commissioned at the end of last month.

YCE plans to launch an investment offer this summer to enable the community to invest directly in both the Creamcombe project as well as the nearby Newton Downs solar farm. Together they are capable of generating enough electricity to supply the equivalent of all households across five local parishes.


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Delta Air Lines commits $1bn to become carbon neutral

US-based Delta Air Lines is to spend $1 billion (£0.77 billion) over the next decade to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The pledge, which covers the company’s air and on-the-ground emissions, was made by the company’s chief executive Ed Bastian who also announced a $1.6 billion (£1.23 billion) profit share scheme for Delta’s employees.

The aviation industry accounts for around 2 per cent of global emissions, and Delta is the latest company in the sector to set a carbon-neutral target. However, airline companies have been criticised for an over-reliance on offsets in place of focused carbon reduction targets.

British Airways has begun offsetting all emissions generated through domestic flights within the UK, at no additional cost to passengers, to build on parent company International Airlines Group’s (IAG) 2050 net-zero ambition.


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